Student Union Elections Approaching! And…are you a minority?

Student Union elections are coming up. This is a serious opportunity for people to influence the course of Brandeis’ future. Even though school politics can be a joke, and students definitely take their positions too seriously sometimes, that doesn’t negate the fact that holding a position of power is often the best way to change things and help people.

Below are the details from President Herbie Rosen’s ’11 e-mail- prospective candidates must attend a meeting September 14th, and the election will take place Sept. 22nd.

However, my favorite part of the e-mail is the awkward description of the highly contested “Racial Minority Senator” position.

1 Racial Minority Senator (check your sage account if you are unsure if you fall under the category of Racial Minority)

Perhaps in order to “get the joke” you have to be familiar with the history of this issue at Brandeis.

  • In April of 2009, Gideon Klionsky brought a case before the Union Judiciary alleging that “the positions of Senator for Racial Minority Students and F-Board Representative for Racial Minority Students are inherently discriminatory and therefore violate sections of both the Student Union Constitution and the University’s policies.” The UJ voted in favor of the Student Union, and the RMS position remained the same.
  • In the spring of 2010, the Consitutional Review Committee proposed changing the RMs position under Amendment 2. This Amendment suggested changing the name “Racial Minority” senator to “Historically Underrepresented Races” senator, and allowing any member of the student body to run for the position, while still only allowing those who declare themselves minorities on Sage to vote for this position. However, it was opposed by 58.85% of those who voted.

    So, why all this history? Because after having tabled the issue of who is a minority, who isn’t, why we have a position to represent minorities in the first place for so long, it’s funny that it all comes down to one-line in an e-mail about checking your Sage account to see what category you fall into.

    Instructions Summarized
    All interested candidates should attend the Student Union Information Session/Election Meeting on Wednesday, September 14, 10pm in the Shapiro Campus Center Art Gallery (3rd Floor). There, Student Union members will give a presentation about the Student Union, and all it does – in addition to going over the rules & regulations of the Election. If you can’t make it, email Todd Kirkland (

    E-mail Herbie Rosen ( or if you have any questions.

    The election will take place on Thursday, September 22: Midnight – Midnight.

    Open Positions
    Senate: All positions are for an entire Academic Year
    1 Senator at Large (recommended for just Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors)
    1 Class of 2012 Senator
    2 Class of 2013 Senators
    2 Class of 2015 Senators
    1 Transitional Year Program (TYP) Senator
    1 Racial Minority Senator (check your sage account if you are unsure if you fall under the category of Racial Minority)
    1 North Quad Senator
    1 Massell Quad Senator
    1 East Quad Senator
    1 Castle Quad Senator
    1 Rosenthal Quad Senator
    1 Ziv Quad Senator
    1 Village Quad Senator
    1 Ridgewood Quad Senator
    1 Charles River (Grad) Quad Senator
    1 Mods Quad Senator
    1 Off-Campus Senator

    Judiciary: All positions are for an entire year
    4 open seats!

    Finance Board (F-Board): Position is for an entire year
    1 Racial Minority F-Board Seat

    Representatives: See each for specific length of service
    1 Representative to the Alumni Association (Though traditionally a two year term, it is the Senior Representative Position, so should a Senior run, they would serve one year).
    2 Representatives to the Brandeis Sustainability Fund Board (One year term)

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